The process of a product launch
Today I thought it would be a good idea to show you what goes into a product launch. How to Become an Advanced Early Riser will be launched on the 13th October 2010 and here's the story behind this, it's exhausting, but the buzz and stress (eustress that is 🙂 ) that I get from this is amazing.
How it started
Back in June/July this year I had a total flop of a launch with the "˜Alter Your Jacket' program, I wrote about this on 5 Lessons Learned From a Failed Product Launch . As soon as I realised it was a flop I picked myself right back up and looked at everything I could on launches and bought a great ebook from Naomi Dunford and Dave Navarro called "˜How to Launch the F*** out of your eBook' (aff link), in fact I didn't buy anything else after reading this.
At the beginning of July I emailed out the CYT subscribers, and asked them what type of product they would like written, and what would be most beneficial. I offered a list of 8 products I had in mind, and left an option open to suggest their own product.
An overwhelming majority voted for 2 products, each getting around 25% of the votes. That was from about 260 people who replied to the email. I looked at the two most popular ones and decided to go with How to Become an Advanced Early Riser'.
The process of writing
Once I found out what my readers were looking for, I then researched the market using Google, forums, Q&A boards like yahoo answers, and scientific research. I was particularly interested in the topic as I am used to getting around 5 hours of sleep every night and have done for years.
After about 2 weeks of researching and writing a very rough outline of the book, I emailed the CYT readers again to ask for any questions they might have on this topic. Again a good response led me to believe the product was going to be a good one. Once I had the questions a lot of people were asking about this, I then could plan my chapters (modules) for the book.
I started writing at the beginning of August, and kept writing and tweaking until the beginning of September. I had around 16,000 words written and just needed it proofread. Again, a few readers stepped up and volunteered for this, which I am truly grateful for.
A lot of the questions I received were about getting up without an alarm clock, so I decided I would write another guide called "˜Ditch the Alarm Clock and Wake up Naturally'. So I wrote around 4,000 words and turned it into a PDF guide. Again, I get up without an alarm clock and found this fairly easy to write.
Recording some audio
There are 4 audio downloads that goes with the program, for relaxation and meditation. I have 4 of them recorded and cleaned them up using Audacity.
Finding a designer
Once I was totally satisfied with the two guides I had written, I then set about looking for a PDF designer to make the books look professional.
I found a fantastic designer by the name of Charlie Pabst, who designed 'Upgrade Reality' from Dirk de Bruin who recommended him. I sent Charlie over some old ebooks to re-design. I loved what he sent back and asked him to design all the ebooks I had, five of them.
Building a site
The next task was to build a new website to house all the new ebooks, and hopefully that would be the site that launches into a fully fledged business. You can see it here at www.cytguides.com (no live buying links yet)
I found a template from ThemeForest.com and set about designing the site to my liking ,and writing the copy for all five sales pages. My copywriting skills are worse than useless, so I wrote it in my own style, but gleaning inspiration from the likes of Chris Guillebeau.
The site is almost completed, but there are still pages to add: thank you pages, squeeze pages, partner pages, etc so it is an ongoing process.
Then there are email autoresponders to set up, which has now been done. So the site is almost complete.
The next thing to look at is how to promote the new guide and the new site. I gathered a list of 118 friends and bloggers who I thought would be a great match for the product and have sent out an individual email in the last few days to them all.
The partner program will be hosted by e-junkie.com as it seems to be the easiest and the cheapest out there just now, and partners can sign up straight away.
I plan on doing a pre-launch whereby I tell visitors to the site about the product, or offer them something related to the product in exchange for an email address. This is about building a list of visitors interested in the product to engage with them, in the hope that they will buy the product or buy a product in the future, as long as I offer quality information, so it's a win-win situation, if done from a genuine place this is great marketing.
One of the readers had written to me with an idea saying she would like to see others who get up early and read a bit about them. I thought this was a brilliant idea and have written to Leo Babauta, James Chartrand, Chris Garrett, Liz Strauss, Dawn Breslin, who have all agreed to an email interview about being an early riser (Leo and Chris have already written theirs). I have written to another 20 or so high profile bloggers and authors for an email interview. Once all the interviews are in, it will be turned into an ebook and offered as a bonus for signing up to the new site. This is a win-win, as the ebook will hopefully go viral and the interviews will have links to all the authors sites and products, so hopefully some new fans for the bloggers and new subscribers for me.
What's left to do?
There's always something that needs to be done, but right now I am working on the email interviews ebook. Next I will be doing a video which is answering readers questions about being an early riser. There's still a few pages and tweaks to be done and it will be ready for pre-launching on the 11th October and launching in full on the 13th October.
I hope that gives you a little insight into what goes on behind the scenes of a relatively small product launch, I can only imagine what goes into the big launches from the likes of Frank Kern, Jeff Walker and Eben Pagan.
As always, I would love your thoughts and experiences about product launches.